Stepping Out of The Box

Locomotion, Shildon

Saturday 14th – 30th September 2019

Multimedia exhibition. Free admission. No booking required.

This original artistic exhibition aims to initiate conversations around gender roles and aspirations in the local community – inviting people to consider whether fitting ourselves into traditional masculine and feminine ‘boxes’ is always helpful.  For example, boys and men are holding back from asking for help if they’re suffering because it’s not seen as masculine to open up, whilst girls aren’t opting for certain career choices as wider social messages depict them as unfeminine.

The exhibition is the culmination of a series of creative workshops in which young people from across South West Durham began to question destructive social pressures and explore healthier alternatives together with our resident artists.

If you’re thinking, “Hang on, I’ve already seen Men’s Voices: Stepping Out Of The Box”…then rest assured, as there’s great reasons to come back! The work on display includes brand new collage, monoprint, textile and poetry content that opens a space for all of us to question the messages we hold, receive and share around masculinity and femininity. What’s more, all of this is nestled amongst some fantastic trains and a lovely cafe!

Come along and join the conversation!

Thursday 19th September 

Panel Talk – Regional Regeneration: Is It Still A Man’s World? 19.30-21.00. Tickets just £5 plus booking fee via this link. 

Building on the exhibition theme, join us for this thought-provoking Panel Talk.

South West Durham is an area in which many jobs are still distributed along traditional gender lines – with a high proportion of women completely out of the labour market and low proportion of women running their own businesses. At the same time, a lot of investment is being poured into the regeneration of the area, with a particular flourishing of the cultural sector – as well as a brand new engineering-focused college. 

We have a trio of experts on board to explore whether – and how – gender should / could be factored into regeneration plans for South-West Durham. 

Tom Dower is the Principal of UTC South Durham and has a background of engineering, project management, management consultancy, teaching and school leadership. He is passionate about getting girls into STEM subjects.

Dr Julie Crawshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Art and Design History at Northumbria University and her research explores what art does in urban-rural development contexts in relation to liveability. Her PhD study followed the regeneration practice of Sunderland.

Dr Nicola Patterson is a Senior Lecturer in Leader Development and Organisation Futures at Newcastle University. Nicola’s passion for entrepreneurship, leadership and diversity is rooted in her PhD which explored leader and follower perspectives of entrepreneurial leadership in small businesses from a gender perspective.

Join us for what is going to be a fascinating discussion! Admission just £5 plus booking fee.  

Thursday 26th September 

Spoken Word & Open Mic Night 19.00-21.30. Tickets £5 plus booking fee. 

Join us for a late night opening at Locomotion, where we’ll host a special evening of Spoken Word brilliance. Three fantastic Spoken Word Artists will explore the themes of gender equality and destructive cultural pressures using their individual styles. Delivered in partnership with Daisy Arts’ youth theatre group WASH, this will be fantastic opportunity to get the conversation flowing around gender roles and the ‘harmful boxes’ we often feel that we have to fit in to in order to be accepted.

This special evening of Spoken Word will be a brilliant chance for poetry newcomers to experience the wonderful world of poetry without being overwhelmed and for regulars to discover some outstanding talent from across the country.

Our line-up for the night includes:

Dan Webber – Genre Fluid

Dan Webber is currently touring his show Genre Fluid which is a study into labels in everyday life, in the arts and the LGBT+ community.

‘I’m not funny enough to be a comic. I’m not serious enough to be a poet.’ Labels are troubling Dan Webber. Spoken word artist / comedian / poet. Queer / LGBTQ+. Top / bottom / twink / bear. It’s stifling.

He doesn’t fit into a box, performance-wise. His show, Genre Fluid, is part poetry, part comedy, part Ted Talk. But, while this is something Webber’s had to face (particularly when applying to take part in festivals – what part of the programme do you go in?) it doesn’t matter to the audience. His words are a ride, gliding through intimate storytelling before surging into an eddy of intricate rhymes designed to trip up your mind. 
Find him on Twitter @Dan_Webber_poet

Emily Pritchard

Emily Pritchard is a poet and performer based in York, whose work centres around family, queerness, and the body. She has competed in the Roundhouse and BBC Fringe Slams, and hosted Slay on Words slam in York. As part of the Writing Squad, an organisation that supports young writers in the North, she regularly collaborates with other poets, most recently in a photography/poetry project exploring what it means to be visibly queer in a public space. 

Emily has some great experience mentoring young people and is all too aware of the pressures they experience to conform – – a pressure which is often highly gendered. She’d be open to discussing your experiences of gender stereotyping so feel free to come along with some questions. Find her on Twitter @poetrypritch.

Julie Easley – photo credit Kev Howard

Julie Easley is a performance poet, and event’s organiser/host for the Saltburn DiVerse night, a monthly cabaret of ‘other voices.’ Her writing is narrative driven and inspired by those who speak their truth and her poetry aims to give a voice to the silent: drawing upon universal issues including gender equality/norms, domestic violence; colonialism, and immigration. She has performed nationally and internationally and thrives on the immediacy of a live audience.
Find her on Twitter @JulieEasley.

Tickets just £5 plus booking fee via this link!